I have two fathers, one rich and one poor,
a biological father and an adoptive father (Mike’s father, my friend).
My biological father has a master’s degree,
and the adoptive father has not finished eighth grade,
but both are successful in their careers and influence others.
They both gave me a lot of advice,
but they weren’t the same.
Both strongly believed in learning but advised me to take different courses.
If I had only one father,
I would either accept or oppose his opinion.
Having two fathers to teach me,
I can see the contrasting views between a rich man and a poor man.
And instead of simply accepting or rejecting one or the other,
I tried to think more, compare and choose for myself.
Both of my fathers struggled with money when they started their careers,
but they both had different views on money.
For example, my biological father used to say,
“The love of money is the root of all evil.”
And my adoptive father said,
“Lack of money is the root of all evil.”
Their differences of opinion,
especially when it comes to money,
made me curious and started thinking…
Because of two influential fathers,
I learned from both of them.
I pondered each person’s advice, and as a result,
I gained a deep understanding of the power and impact of thoughts on people’s lives.
For example, my biological father used to say,
“I can’t afford that.”
And my adoptive father forbade me to say that,
he wanted me to say,
“How can I buy that thing?”
One side is an affirmation,
and the other side is a question.
One side makes you shirk responsibility,
and the other forces you to think…
My two fathers had wildly different views.
For example, one person said:
“You have to study well to get a job in good companies.”
The other said,
“If you study well, you can buy good companies.”
“The house is our biggest investment and our greatest asset.”
The other thought differently:
“The house is also a down payment,
and if the house is your biggest investment then you’re in trouble.”
Both fathers pay their bills on time,
but one always pays first and the other always pays last.
A person struggling to save every penny.
The other just does a simple investment.
One person taught me how to write an impressive cover letter to get a good job.
The other taught me how to write a financial business project that could generate work.
Trained by two fathers,
I was able to observe the impact of different thoughts on people’s lives.
I see people really shape their lives through their own thoughts.
For example, my poor dad always complained,
“I’ll never get rich.”
And that prediction came true.
In contrast, my rich dad always said things like,
“I’m a rich man, and rich people don’t do those things.”
Even when he failed miserably after a major investment failed,
he still thought of himself as a rich man.
“There is a difference between poverty and bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is temporary,
but poverty is glorious,” he said.
The powers of thought can never be measured or evaluated,
but it is an obvious thing that I have been aware of since childhood.
I saw that the poor father was not poor because of the money he earned,
but because of his thoughts and actions.
Although both of my fathers have great respect for education and learning,
they disagree about what is important to learn.
A person wants me to study hard,
have a high professional rank to get a good job,
earn a lot of money.
The other encouraged me to learn to be rich,
to understand how money works,
and to learn how to make money work for me.
He often repeated:
“I don’t work for money.
Money has to work for me.”
When I was 9 years old,
I decided to listen to and learn from my rich dad about money matters.
Since I was only 9 years old at that time,
the lessons my adoptive father taught me were very simple.
There are actually only six lessons to be learned in all,
and this book covers those six lessons,
in the same simple order as when my adoptive father taught me.
These lessons are guidelines that will help you and your children become richer,
no matter what happens in today’s uncertain and rapidly changing world.
“I’ll pay you ten cents an hour.”
Even in the 1950s, 10 cents an hour was too low.
Mike’s father made an appointment with me and him at 8 o’clock.
As the owner of a warehouse,
a construction company,
several shops and three restaurants, he is very busy…
When we arrived, Mike’s father was on the phone
and we had to wait for him on the back porch bench,
along with two women and a middle-aged man
who ran the restaurant and looked after the warehouse.
The two of us waited for a long time,
and when I felt I was starting to lose my patience,
suddenly Father Mike appeared.
Mike and I jumped to our feet in surprise.
“Ready to learn, kids?” Father Mike asked,
pulling a chair to sit with us.
Mike and I both nodded.
“Good. I will teach you,
but not in a classroom style.
If you work for me,
I will teach you how to get rich.
Otherwise, I won’t teach…
Then it’s up to you to accept it or not.”
“Er… can I ask a few questions?” I asked.
No. Accept it or not, that’s it.
Dad has too much to do and can’t afford to waste time.
If you can’t make a definitive decision,
you won’t learn how to make money.
Opportunities come and go.
Knowing when to make a decision is an important skill.
I have the opportunity I need.
Class starts or ends in ten seconds.”
Mike’s father said with a smile.
“I will,” me and Mike said together.
“Good,” said Mike’s father.
“You will work with Mrs. Martin.
I pay you 10 cents an hour and you have to work three hours every Saturday.”
“But I have a baseball game today,” I said.
Father Mike said in a stern voice,
“Do or not do?”
“I do.” I replied, deciding to work and learn instead of playing football.
Foreman Martin made us work non-stop.
For three hours we had to unload the crates from the shelves,
dust them off with a bristle broom, and then arrange them neatly.
It was a boring job
because the store doors were always wide open to the street and the parking lot.
Every time there is a car passing by or running into the yard,
the dust fills the shop…
For three weeks,
Mike and I went to work at Mrs. Martin’s for three hours every Saturday.
At noon, when the work was over,
she paid each of them 30 cents.
In the 1950s,
for a 9-year-old child, 30 cents was not much.
A comic book is already 10 cents,
so after I get paid I just buy the manga and go home.
On the fourth Wednesday of the week,
I decided to quit my job.
I wanted to be taught how to get rich by Mike’s father,
not to be a slave to ten cents an hour.
On top of that, I haven’t seen him since the first Saturday.
At lunchtime in the school cafeteria,
I said to Mike, “I’m quitting!”
Mike smiled. I angrily asked,
“What are you laughing at?”
“My father said you were going to resign.
Father said before you quit your job you should go see him.”
I am outraged:
“What? So your father is waiting to see if I’m bored?”
“Almost the same.
My father’s teaching style is different from your father’s.
Your father talks a lot in theory and my father very little.
You just wait until this Saturday.
I’ll tell him you want to quit your job. .”
“You mean everything was planned?”
“No, not really… Father will explain it to you this Saturday.”
I was ready to face Mike’s father and I was prepared.
Even my biological father was angry,
he said that Mike’s father broke child labor laws and everything should be made clear.
He told me to ask for what was right for me as little as 25 cents an hour.
He also said that if I don’t get a raise,
I’d better quit.
And at 8 a.m. on that Saturday,
I stood at the door of Mike’s father’s office again.
“Sit down and wait for your turn!”
That’s what Father Mike said as I walked in.
I hesitantly sat down next to two women who were sitting on benches outside the office
as they had four weeks ago 45 minutes went by and my head was on fire.
The two women had entered to meet Mike’s father and had left 30 minutes earlier.
An elderly man was there for about 20 minutes and had already left.
The house is quiet.
Mike’s father was still busy working in his room.
Finally, after an hour of waiting, at exactly nine o’clock,
Mike’s father called me in to see him.
“I know you want a raise or quit.”
Rich dad said as he turned his chair.
“You didn’t do the right thing…”
I said, almost crying.
It’s horrible for a 9 year old to have to face an adult.
“You said you would teach me if I worked for you.
I worked hard, gave up baseball games to come work for you.
But you did not keep your word.
Dad didn’t teach me anything.
Uncle just wanted money
and didn’t care about the workers.
You made me wait too long and didn’t respect me at all.
I’m just a kid, and I need to be treated better
yes!” I burst out in anger.
Rich dad stared at me, then spoke slowly.
“Not bad. In less than a month,
you talked like most people who work for me.”
“What?” I hesitantly asked again.
Then, not understanding what he was saying,
I continued to complain:
“I thought you would keep your contract and teach me.
But actually you just wanted to torture…”
“Are you still teaching me?”
Rich dad calmly said.
You haven’t even bothered to talk to me
since I agreed to work for these 10 cents an hour,
that’s it, I should have told the authorities about you.
You know, we have child labor laws.
I also know that your father works for the government…” I shouted angrily.
“Wow, now you talk like the people who used to work for me.
Those people either I quit or they quit on their own.”
“My father lied to me.
I worked for you,
but you didn’t keep your word.
You didn’t teach me anything.”
I spoke quickly, feeling that my teacher was brave.
“Why do you think I didn’t teach you anything?”
asked rich dad.
“You don’t talk to me.
I’ve been working for three weeks,
and you haven’t taught me anything.”
“Does teaching mean having to give a talk or give a lecture?”
“Um, yes.” I hesitated to answer.
“That’s the way it is taught in school, but it’s very different in life,”
said rich dad, smiling.
“Life will never say anything to you, but will only push you.
When life pushes you, it wants to say:
“Wake up, there’s something new to learn!”
When pushed by life, some give up, others fight.
A few learn the lessons and keep going…
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t have any courage,
you’ll give up every time life pushes you.
Then you will live a safe life,
trying to avoid things that may never happen.
Then you will die like a boring old man.
But the truth is that I let life push me to the brink of submission.
At the bottom of my heart is the terror of taking risks.
I want to win, but the fear of failure is greater than the joy of winning.
You chose safety.”
I looked at Mike’s father for a long moment,
then asked. “So you pushed me?”
Rich dad smiled.
“I wanted to give you a taste of life.
You were the first to ask me to teach you how to get rich.
I have more than 150 employees,
but no one asked me about it.
They asked me about my job.
It doesn’t ask me to teach you about money,
so most people spend the best years of their lives working for money
without really understanding what they’re working for.”
I sat quietly and listened.
When Mike told me that you wanted to learn how to get rich,
I decided to design a course that was very close to real life.
That’s why I let life push me a little, then you will absorb what I say.
That’s why I only pay you 10 cents an hour.”
“So what lesson did you learn from working for 10 cents an hour?
Are you being too stingy and exploiting the workers?” I retorted.
Rich dad laughed loudly.
“Don’t blame me and don’t think I’m the source of all the problems.
If you realize that the problem is with yourself,
you can change yourself,
learn something and become wiser.
Most people want others to change, not themselves.
When things don’t go their way,
they quit and look for another,
because they think that will solve the problem.
But, they were wrong.
In most cases not.”
“So what will solve the problem?”
I ask. “Keep working for 10 cents an hour and try to have fun?”
“That’s what the rest of us will do,
accepting low wages knowing they
and their families will be in financial trouble.
They look forward to a raise,
or a second job,
hoping that more money will solve the problem…”
I stared at the floor,
beginning to understand the lesson rich dad was talking about.
LESSON NUMBER 1. Poor people work for money.
Rich people force money to work for them.
Rich dad continued to teach me my first lesson.
“I’m glad you got angry because you had to work 10 cents an hour.
If you don’t get angry and accept it happily I won’t be able to teach you.
You see, learning really takes effort,
passion and burning desire.
Anger is a big part of that formula,
for passion is a combination of love and anger.
When it comes to money,
most people want to be safe and secure.
So it is not passion but fear that will guide them.
A lot of money does not necessarily solve the problem.
Look at your father and son.
He makes a lot of money,
but still can’t pay the bills.
Most people are given money just to get into more debt.
The reason is because in school,
they don’t learn anything about money,
so they believe that they have to work to earn money.”
“And you don’t think so?”
“No, not really.
If you want to learn to work for money, go to school.
If you want to learn how to make money work for you,
I can teach you,
but only if you really want to learn.”
“So doesn’t everyone want to learn?”
“No. Because learning to work for money is so much easier,
especially when fear is the first feeling when it comes to money.”
“I don’t understand.” I said grimacing.
“It is fear that causes people to work,
they worry about not having enough money,
worry about having to start over.
That is the price of learning a certain profession,
then having to work for money.
Most people become slaves to money…
and then they get angry at the boss.”
“Is learning how to make money work for you a completely different course?” I asked.
“Definitely,” said rich dad. “Definitely so.”
We sat in silence for a long time.
Right now my friends are probably starting the baseball game,
and I’m learning things that my friends won’t learn in school.
“At the age of 9, I had a taste of what it was like to work for money.
Just multiply the past month by 50 years
and you’ll understand what most people do in their lifetime,” said rich dad softly.
“I don’t understand…”
“How do you feel when you have to wait for me to get hired and ask for a raise?”
“Is it terrible?”
“If you choose to work for money, that will be your life.”
Rich dad continued.
“And how do you feel when Mrs. Martin pays you thirty cents after three hours of work?”
“I don’t feel enough. Looks like it’s nothing.
I am very disappointed.”
“That’s the feeling most employees feel when they get their paycheck,
especially after paying taxes and deductions.
At least I got 100%.”
“You mean most people don’t get their full salary?”
I asked surprised.
The government will take the first part with taxes.
You pay taxes when you make money.
You pay taxes when you spend money.
You pay taxes when you save money.
You must pay taxes even if you die.”
“How is that possible? I?” I asked awkwardly.
I don’t like what I just heard.
I know my father used to complain about paying too much in taxes,
but he didn’t really do anything.
Is life pushing you too?
Rich dad rocked his chair slowly and looked at me silently.
“I told you there’s a lot to learn.
Learning how to make money work for you is a lifelong learning.
Most people go to college for four years, then quit.
They go to work to get salary,
then spend all, balance of payments and that’s it.
It’s because they don’t have financial knowledge that other problems arise.
Today I just wanted to see if you are passionate enough to learn about money.
Most people don’t.
They go to school, learn something,
work happily and earn a lot of money
One day they wake up with huge financial troubles and can’t stop working
That’s the price of just know how to work for money
instead of learning how to force money to work for you.
So are you still passionate enough to study or not?”
“Very well,” said rich dad.
“Now get back to work.
This time, I won’t pay you a dime.”
Why?” I asked in surprise.
“I heard it. Pay nothing.
You’ll still have to work three hours every Saturday,
but this time you won’t be paid 10 cents an hour anymore.
You said you don’t want to study for money,
so I won’t pay you a dime.”
I can’t believe what I’m hearing anymore.
“I talked about this with Mike.
It’s been working,
dusting and loading crates for nothing.
Maybe you should hurry up and get back to work.”
“That’s not fair.
What do you have to pay for your children?”
“I said I wanted to learn.
If you don’t study now,
you’ll be like my employees in the future,
working for the money and hoping not to get fired.
Or like your father and son,
making a lot of money only to be in debt to the neck,
always hoping more money will solve the problem.
If that’s what you want,
I’ll keep paying you 10 cents an hour like the beginning.
Or you can do what most people would do:
complain the pay is too low, quit and go find another job.”
Rich dad patted my head and continued,
“Use this. If you make the best use of your head later you’ll have to thank me for giving you a chance,
and you’ll grow up to be a great person, a rich man.”
I stood there, unable to believe my immature deal.
Originally I came here to ask for a raise,
and now I have to keep working without getting paid at all.
For the next three weeks, Mike and I worked three hours every Saturday without pay.
Work doesn’t make me angry and things just got easier.
The only thing left is to miss baseball games and not be able to buy a few comic books anymore.
At noon on the third work week, rich dad stopped by us.
After examining what was going on in the store, he walked over to the ice cream cabinet,
pulled out two, paid for it, and motioned for Mike and I to go out for a walk together.
Father Mike gave the two of us ice cream and asked,
“How’s it going, boys?”
“It’s fine.” Mike said.
I nodded in agreement.
Rich dad asked again. “Have you learned anything yet?”
Mike and I looked at each other, shrugged, and shook our heads in unison.
LESSON NUMBER 2. Avoid the biggest pit fall of life
“You see, Mrs. Martin and most of the people here are working hard for a little money,
clinging to the prospect of a secure job,
looking forward to a three-week vacation every year
and some miserly pensions after decades of working.
If that interests you, I will raise your wages to 25 cents an hour…”
“But those are the people who work hard. Are you mocking them?” I ask.
A smile flickered across rich dad’s face.
“My words may sound cruel,
but I am trying to show you something.
Most people don’t see the traps they’re getting into just
because their field of vision is too narrow.”
Mike and I sat there dumbfounded,
not fully understanding what we had just heard.
Rich dad spoke cruelly.
We could feel, however, that he desperately wanted us to understand something.
Rich dad smiled. “25 cents an hour sounds great, doesn’t it?
Does it make your heart beat faster?”
I shook my head.
“Okay, $1 an hour.” Rich dad said with a discreet smile.
My heart beat hard. My mind wants to scream:
“Get it! Take it!” I can’t believe what I’m hearing anymore.
But I still didn’t say anything.
“Well then two dollars an hour.”
My 9 year old brain and heart almost exploded.
I can’t imagine I could make that much money.
I want to say “yes.” I could see before my eyes a new bike,
a new set of baseball gloves and the admiration of my friends as I spread the money.
But for some reason, I remained silent.
The ice cream is dripping down my hand.
Now only the stick remained,
and on the ground was a pile of vanilla and chocolate,
which the ants loved so much.
Rich dad looked at the two children staring at him,
eyes wide and mind blank.
He knew there was a part of us that wanted to agree to this deal.
He knew that in everyone’s soul there was a part of weakness and greed that others could buy.
And he also knows that in every person’s soul there is a strong
and determined part that can never be bought.
It’s simply a matter of which part is stronger.
“Okay, five dollars an hour.”
Suddenly, my heart calmed down.
Something has changed.
The offer became too big and became ridiculous.
In 1956, there weren’t many adults who could make more than $5 an hour.
The temptation disappeared and calm returned.
I slowly turned to look at Mike.
It turned to look at me.
The weak and greedy part of me was silent.
There was a calmness and certainty about money that came to my mind and soul.
I know Mike feels the same way.
“Very good. Most people have a price.
And they have that price because they have what we call fear and greed.
First, the fear of not having money forces them to work,
and when they get paid,
greed or covetousness causes them to start thinking about the wonderful things
that money can buy.
Then a pattern begins…”
Rich dad said softly.
“What pattern?” I ask.
“The pattern of waking up,
going to work, paying the bills,
waking up, going to work, paying the bills…
Then their lives go on forever with only two feelings:
fear and greed. When given more money,
they will continue the vicious cycle mentioned above by increasing costs.
That’s what I call Rat Race.”
“Is there another way, father?” Mike asked.
“Yes, but only a few people find it.
That is the path I hope you two will find as you study and work with me.
That is why I have offered all kinds of wages for you two.”
“Did Dad mean anything?
We feel very tired when we have to work hard,
especially when we are not paid at all.” Mike said softly.
“Have you seen the people who work for me?
The fear of not having money keeps them in the trap:
go to work, earn money,
go to work, earn money,
hoping the anxiety will go away.
But every day when they wake up,
that anxiety wakes up with them,
gnawing at their hearts.
Money controls their lives,
but they dare not admit it.
Money controls their emotions and controls their souls…”
Mike and I listen but don’t really understand everything.
I just know that I often wonder why adults are always rushing to work,
and they never seem happy,
as if there is a what force them to do so.
“I want you to avoid that trap.
That’s what I’m really teaching you,
not just how to make money,
because money doesn’t solve problems.”
“No?” I asked surprised.
People desire money for the pleasures they think it can buy.
But the joy that money brings is often very short-lived,
and people need money to get other joys,
more interesting things, more comfortable,
So they continue to work,
thinking that money will soothe their souls suffering from their fears and desires.
But money can’t do that.”
“Even with the rich?”
“Yes, even to the rich.
Many rich people aspire to make money not out of lust but out of fear of being poor,
so they accumulate tons of money only to make that fear worse.
I know many people with millions of dollars who are even more afraid
when they have no money in their pocket.
They are very worried about losing money.
The fear that made them rich is now worse.
The weak and greedy part of their souls was screaming louder.
They don’t want to lose the big houses,
the cars and the luxury that money has brought.
They worry about what their friends will say when they run out of money.
A lot of people feel hopeless and stressed even though they look gorgeous and have a lot of money.”
“Are the poor happier?” I timidly asked.
“No. Money avoidance is just as neurotic as being too attached to money.
I have met a lot of people who say they don’t care about money,
but work for money 8 hours a day.
If they don’t care about money,
what do they go to work for?
That kind of thinking is probably worse than people who specialize in hoarding money…”.
“So what should we do?
Don’t you work for money until you stop feeling afraid and greedy?”
“If you are worried about not having enough money,
instead of going to work immediately to earn money,
ask yourself: ‘Is a job the best solution to overcome this worry?’
According to his father then the answer will be ‘No’,
especially when you look over a lifetime.
Work is just a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
It’s like the story of a donkey pulling a cart while its owner dangles a centipede from its nose.
The owner will probably get where he wants,
and the donkey is just chasing an illusion.
If the donkey can see the whole picture,
maybe it will rethink whether it should pursue the carrot or not…”
“So what do you advise me to do?” I wondered.
“Try to grasp the power of money, don’t be afraid of it.
After all, we are all employees, just to different degrees.
I just want you two to have the opportunity to see clearly this trap,
the trap caused by fear and desire.
Bring them to your side, don’t let them go against you.
That’s what I want to teach my children.
If at first you can’t deal with your fears and desires,
and then you get rich, then you’ll just be well-paid slaves…”
On the way back to the store,
rich dad explained to us how rich people “make money”.
At the time, we didn’t understand what he was saying,
but as the years passed,
things gradually became clear…
WHAT OTHERS CAN’T SEE
Before climbing into the pickup truck outside the store,
Father Mike told us: “Use your mind.
The head will show you how to make more money than I can pay.
You will see things that other people don’t.
Opportunities are right in front of everyone’s eyes but most people don’t see them
because they are busy making money and job security so they only see two.
That’s all. Once you see opportunities,
you’ll see them for the rest of your life.
When you see them, I’ll teach you something else…”
Two more weeks passed, and we continued to think,
discuss, and continue to work without pay.
The saddest thing for me when I don’t get 30 cents every Saturday is that I don’t have money to buy comic books anymore…
At the end of the second Saturday, as I said goodbye to Mrs. Martin,
it occurred to me that she was doing something I had never seen before,
or rather seen, but did not pay much attention to…
Mrs. Martin was cutting the front page of a comic book in half.
She kept the top half of the book’s cover and tossed the rest into a big box.
When I asked her what she was doing, she replied,
“Reject it. I’ll give the top half of the book back to the manga delivery man when he brings in the new book. He’ll be here in about an hour.”
Mike and I sat and waited.
When the delivery man arrived,
I asked him if we could pick up these comic books.
He replied, “You can get them if you work for the store and if you don’t
I resell them…”
Mike’s house has an empty room in the basement.
We cleaned up the room and started loading hundreds of comic books.
After that, our comic library quickly opened,
with the customers being the kids in the neighborhood.
We hired Mike’s sister, who was an avid reader,
to be our librarian.
She charges each child 10 cents when she enters the library,
and during the two hours it’s open each day,
our customers can read as many storybooks as they want.
So the children are very profitable because it costs 10 cents to buy a comic book,
but with that 10 cents, if they go to our library,
in two hours they can read five or six books.
Mike’s sister would check on the kids when they left,
to make sure they didn’t bring any books home.
She also keeps the books, recording how many kids come in,
what their names are and what they comment.
On average, after three months,
Mike and I make $9.50 a week.
We pay Mike’s sister $1 a week and let her read stories freely,
although she rarely reads stories because she has to study all the time.
Mike and I collect all the comics from other stores.
We keep our promise to the book delivery person that we won’t sell any comic books.
When they are torn, we burn them.
We tried to open another branch,
but couldn’t find anyone as kind and trustworthy as Mike’s sister.
From an early age, we have understood that:
finding good employees is very difficult.
Rich dad is glad we learned our first lesson well,
learning to make money work for us.
Not being paid for our work in the store,
we were forced to think about a money making opportunity.
When we started the business,
opened the comic library,
we managed our own finances,
no longer depending on another boss.
The best part is that this business makes money for us,
even when we don’t need to be there.
Instead of paying for it, rich dad gave us more…